Liberal Movements in CEE : About the project

In recent years, a number of new liberal parties and movements have emerged in the region of Central and Southeast Europe. They have successfully formed a counterpoint to national-conservative and populist tendencies in their respective countries; here, the Liberals are often the only political actors trying to influence public opinion in promoting a positive, pluralistic, open and pro-European social image.

In face of the new wave of populism, it is of utmost importance to connect liberal forces across the region, to strengthen their cooperation and to empower them to develop and share novel political responses to the emerging anti-liberal trends. In 2020, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom launched a new interregional program to strengthen liberal parties in Central and Southeast Europe. The goal of the program is to provide our partner parties with a platform for professional exchange through tailor-made capacity-building workshops and encourage their increased cooperation to counter populism and democratic backlash in the region.

Within its first year, the project resulted in creation of a short documentary featuring seven inspiring representatives involved in the new liberal movements in Austria (NEOS), Bulgaria (Da, Bulgaria!), Hungary (Momentum), Poland (Nowoczesna), Romania (USR and PLUS) and Slovakia (Progressive Slovakia). In the documentary, the party representatives share the genuine stories of their parties, outline their missions and goals, and reveal their personal motivations, which led them to engage with politics.

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In addition to the documentary, a video-accompanying booklet “The Inspirers” was published, highlighting remarkable quotes from the interviews, outlining political visions of the respective party representatives as well as presenting key facts about the liberal parties in the region.

The Inspirers: Liberals in Central and Southeastern Europe Lead the Way for the Future

We kindly invite you to watch our documentary and check out the booklet. We hope that they may waken your interest in the new European liberalism of the region; perhaps you might recognize the liberals in Central and Southeast Europe as a source of inspiration!